Windows 8 is the hot topic in current world of Operating Systems, this new OS from Microsoft expected to release in 2012. This OS would be totally different from normal desktop Operating Systems as per the news and rumors available on internet currently. I got the chance to install this latest OS from Microsoft on desktop virtualization software and see the new changes. This simple guide shows how to install Windows 8 in VirtualBox and play around with it. (with the original release from Microsoft)
UPDATE – This guide has been updated on 16-09-2011.
Microsoft released the first distribution as developer preview recently. Most of the users confirmed that the steps in this guide worked well with official release also.
Step by Step Method to Install Windows 8 in VirtualBox
Before start the steps, understand the basic requirement for this installation. You must have a Hardware Virtualization Technology (VT) computer. I tried this on Dell Optiplex 755 computer which doesn’t have VT supported processor, the installation started and copied all files, but with the first restart virtual machine hung with black screen in some white texts. I have changed all possible settings in Virtual machine and tried, but no luck.
1) Make sure your computer support Hardware Virtualization Technology – Read more information about Virtualization Technology.
2) Download the correct distribution for your computer processor (32 bit or 64bit), you can download it from official site here.
3) Create a new virtual machine. Select ‘Windows 7’ as OS version.
4) Enable VT-x and Nesting Paging options as shown below.
Enable PAE/NX under processor settings. You can change the processor numbers according to physical processor cores, (I set to 2, because mine is Intel Core2duo)
Enable IO APIC under motherboard settings of virtual machine.
5) Enable 3D Acceleration, you can enable 2D Acceleration also. Maximize the display memory size. In fact, I’m not sure how these settings will be helpful to improve the display performance…keep reading.
6) Mount the downloaded ISO file and start the virtual machine. Installation should start normally like Windows 7.
7) Run and configure the first personalization steps. You must land on the new version of desktop environment metro UI if everything is correct.
As per Microsoft’s requirements, screen resolution should be higher than 1024×768 to get proper working tiles in metro UI.
Here is the solution to fix this issue and get better performance, lets install VirtualBox guest additions.
Install VirtualBox guest additions on Windows 8 Virtual machine
8.) Mount the guest additions built in ISO file by going to ‘Devices’ in menu and click ‘ Install Guest Additions’. After ISO mounted to virtual machine’s DVD/CD drive, explore the drive.
Right click on Windows guest additions for 32bit or 64bit (depends on the installed version) file and under Compatibility change the mode to Windows 7.
After pressing Apply, run the installation and restart Virtual machine. Now automatically the screen resolution will be changed to higher and you could see the difference in performance. Now check the tiles in metro UI, it must work.
Issues I Faced and How I Fixed
Let me tell the truth, the above steps did not work on my Intel core2duo processor. But, I managed to install successfully by trying several combinations.
If the above steps did not work for you, then you can try the below steps. When I tried the above steps above steps, I got the following error. This is the new interface for famous Windows blue screen error.
Here are the settings helped me in my host.
9) Change the motherboard main chipset to ICH9.
10) By default when disk created for virtual machine, it will be mounted in SATA controller. But, manually you have to mount the virtual hard disk to IDE controller.
I’m sure above steps will be helpful to fix some booting and crashing issues in Windows 8 with Oracle VirtualBox.
Network and sound works fine inside virtual machine. It’s a nice experience to work with the latest OS in virtualization environment without disturbing your existing physical Operating Systems.
I have already written a guide on install Windows 8 in VMware workstation 8 which works better than VirtualBox (in my computer).
Let me know how the above installation went in your computer and how is the performance.